Sold almost exclusively on the fact that they’re fronted by former L7 member Jennifer Finch, The Shocker are an LA quintet delivering punk rock from a purely base level: uncomplicated, suitably snarling and swimming in as much originality as a lottery winner in their newly purchased mansion pool. Which is fine if your sole requirements in rock are a riff and a slightly rough-about-the-edges vocal (what those Pop Idol judges would politely but wrongly call ‘attitude’, i.e. it’s what singers that can’t really sing do instead of, y’know, singing). If not, well, this simply isn’t for you.
By the time track four, ‘Smoke Rings (Up Your Ass Tray)’ rolls itself unconvincingly into your speaker cones and right out the fat end, that snarl now reduced to a cringe-worthy croak, you’re either into this prehistoric, heard-it-all-a-thousand-times-before retro-rockin’ or you’re three seconds from pressing eject. Perseverance will at least offer those not loving Finch’s cliché-flooded vocals a laugh as the lyrics of ‘My Life As A Plumber’ and ‘Break In Two’ read like the writings of a failed satirist and a dazed and confused half-arsed Socialist. The music sticks to the aforementioned formula throughout, and should you make it to closer ‘Good Head Again’ then you should hit me up for a medal; or a biscuit, at least.
Perhaps up their ass tray is precisely where Finch and her crew should’ve kept this tedious exercise in furthering the cause of retrogression in popular rock music.
2Mike Diver's Score